Nights Called Milan is not done yet. A new Duo is born in Milan.

By Kevin Carrara

Nights Called Milan is not only in Osaka. After the success received by the initiative in Japan, it arrives in Milan thanks to Asian Studies Group in collaboration with its artistic and theatre residence: Corte dei Miracoli. This event is one of the many occurrences realized by Milano Genius 2019 in order to enhance the relations between the two twinned cities. Milano Genius 2019 is patronized by the Municipality of Milan and produced by the Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka in collaboration with ASG-Produzioni, branch of Asian Studies Group.

Nights Called Milan will carry on its journey on the 30th of May in Milan at Corte dei Miracoli, a space not new to events of such importance and that is perfectly suited for hosting them. The experience is an opportunity for everyone involved to achieve visibility, especially for the artists Michele Gorlero and Alberto Mancini that will perform the repertoire of the most famous Milanese’s songwriters: Vecchioni, Jannacci and Gaber.

The duo has proven in Osaka how its two members work in complete harmony and respect for each other. The Japanese guests of the Swissôtel Nankai in Osaka were completely charmed by the collaboration of the two artists. They were able to easily surpass and overthrow the linguistic barrier, an achievement that only few can say to have accomplished during their career. We previously asked Michele Gorlero his thoughts regarding the Nights Called Milan’s event in Osaka. The interview can be found at the following link: Interview with Michele Gorlero.

ASG-Records, branch of Asian Studies Group, wishes to set the basis for their future success. Nights Called Milan at Corte dei Miracoli will be the perfect occasion to promote the new duo. An evening entirely focused on Milan in which Milanese artists will portrait their personal view of the beautiful city that is Milan. Soon everyone will be able to listen Michele Gorlero’s voice and Alberto Mancini’s piano from their home, since ASG-Records will record them on Spotify.

Annunci

NIGHTS CALLED MILAN: INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST MICHELE GORLERO

By Kevin Carrara

Nights Called Milan has just started in Osaka and in order to celebrate the success that it is receiving across the ocean, we wish to offer you an interview with Michele Gorlero, voice and essential figure of this initiative.

Milano Genius 2019 pursues the goal of enhance the relations between the two twinned cities of Milan and Osaka offering the Nights Called Milan initiative produced by the Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka alongside the Swissôtel Nankai in Osaka. This project is patronized by Municipality of Milan and is sponsored by iFOODQ and distributed by ASG-Produzioni, branch of Asian Studies Group.

Before the start of the interview, we offer you a quick introduction to Michele Gorlero made by Paolo Cacciato, Director of Asian Studies Group and focal member of the production of Milano Genius:

Michele Gorlero is an artist that has already started to focus his professional theatre experience in order to approach the Japanese culture and society. This can be seen thanks to his participation as co-protagonist in the Asian Studies Group theatre production Fushikaden. Michele immediately came to my mind for the Nights Called Milan initiative. I believe that his sensibility and skill will reach the Japanese public that will be bewitched by a play in which words’ meaning leaves the narration to voice and gesture.

What is your opinion regarding the Nights Called Milan event in which Milanese music meet the typical Lombardy’s cuisine?

I was born in San Remo, but I lived in Milan for twelve years, so I consider myself as an adopted Milanese. Regarding Nights Called Milan, I believe that Milanese cuisine and songwriting tradition are two excellence of our country. This experience focused on the cooperation between those aspects will allow the mutual growth for both of them, while emphasize the Milanese atmosphere and tradition. Nights Called Milan will permit to everyone, especially Japaneses, to experience emotions common to us Italians but that can be expressed differently in some societies. Our art is completely different from the one in Japan especially when talking about music. In fact, there are themes that are completely new to Japaneses and the first example of this statement that comes to my mind is the song “La Parola Io” of Gaber that translates in “The word I”. This play focus itself on the personal ego inside every person and I believe that it will allow to the guests of the Dinner Gala to experience and consider for their first time this particular and selfish aspect that the songwriter decided to analyze. I look forward to watching firsthand how Japaneses will relate to the Italian way of life.

Do you believe that the meaning of the track will be able to surpass the linguistic barrier and reach the Japanese public? Furthermore, what is your personal experience with Japan?

I see the linguistic barrier as a valuable addition to every play. I consider it as a thin veil that if used right can bring great profit to the show. The producers of Nights Called Milan had the brilliant idea to deliver to the guests a description in Japanese, English and Italian regarding the meaning of each song. Even if the attendants won’t have an exact translation, that will be for the better since this decision will allow them to bond the meaning of the texts given to them and the words that will come out of my mouth. This procedure is commonly used in abstract art exhibitions in order to give to people the opportunity to think critically and to give their own interpretation regarding what they see. Vecchioni, Jannacci and Gaber were three songwriters very experienced in transmitting emotions to their public. They were true masters of their sector and I believe that thanks to their work even Japaneses will be able to understand what we wish to communicate to them. Many of the songs chosen for Nights Called Milan contain a deep meaning that cannot be understood focusing only on their texts. For example, without spoiling anything too much, I will sing a particular track in a jolly way while my coworker, Alberto Mancini, will play his piano in order to express sadness and anguish. Thanks to those arrangements made by the songwriters, the public will surely make an inner analysis to give the song the meaning that suits it the most. This type of correlation is different for each person and is easily influenced by what we experienced during our life. I was always fascinated by Japan. In fact, I already had the pleasure to work in Italy in productions focused on the Japanese way of life like Fushikaden. This experience will be my first opportunity to export the Italian culture in Japan and I live this duty as a great honor and pleasure. I honestly believe that Nights Called Milan will be a wonderful experience.

Genius is back to Milan from Osaka. Mistero Buffo with Elisa Pistis for Urban Theatre

By Kevin Carrara

On 5th of May at 9 pm Elisa Pistis will bring at Corte dei Miracoli in Milan her re-interpretation of Dario Fo’s play Mistero Buffo. The performance is offered by Paolo Cacciato, director of ASG-Produzioni. Milano Genius 2019 is produced and organized by the Italian Institute of Culture in Osaka thanks to a collaboration with ASG-produzioni. Furthermore, the initiative is patronized by both the Municipalities of Milan and Osaka. In order to present to our readers the point of view of Mistero Buffo’s director, we interviewed Elisa Pistis.

What is Elisa Pistis’ Mistero Buffo and how does it relate to Dario Fo’s play?

My Mistero Buffo is of course no copy of Dario Fo’s work, rather it develops from a very simple starting point: a woman who alone stages Mistero Buffo. My re-worked version starts therefore from a feminine sensibility, that doesn’t exclude the master’s point of view, but which necessarily has a different expressive outcome.

I keep Dario Fo’s vision as a starting point when I begin to approach his texts. However, my goal is to re-elaborate the material at my best in order to perform it according to the needs of our times, which are completely different from the ones when the play was written.

How the Japanese public reacted to the show?

Japanese viewers were very focused and intrigued by the play. The public was large, very silent and respectful. One of the strengths of Mistero Buffo is its physical and gestural language, that allows the comprehension of the play even for people coming from a cultural background very different from the Italian. The work of instant translation made by the interpreter has permitted to everyone in the public to dunk themselves into the world of Mistero Buffo and enjoy it at its fullest.

What is the major insight you gained with this experience in Japan?

Surely, this experience in Japan developed my desire to expand my theatre work to all over the world. It was an opportunity of both artistic and human growth. I could see numerous performances and learn the expressive modalities of this thousand-year old nation. I was fascinated by one of Team Kabuki’s play, five hours of pure show with an active participation from the public. I was intrigued by the fact that at the end of the performance, after the drop of the curtain, the actors didn’t come out to take the well-deserved applause. The exchanges during the play between them and us, the viewers, were enough. Unlike in Italy, it is not common to thank the public and bow while waiting for the applause. So the five hours flew like in a moment and at the end of the show the exchange of emotions and regards was not needed. I dunk myself into the Japanese culture visiting less touristic places and trying to grasp some aspects of the local way of life. During my visit, I realized that few days aren’t enough to fully understand a population and its history. Instead, one should live there in order to do so. Since my work is focused on words, it was beautiful to listen their language. I took home the memory of many acoustics typical of Japanese alongside their way of greetings and playing music.

What should we expect on 5th of May in Corte dei Miracoli?

I hope to find a moment of sharing, since Mistero Buffo is a performance focused on the direct relation with the public. I like the idea to talk straight to each person attending my plays. I believe that a space like Corte dei Miracoli will be perfect in order to create the atmosphere that I seek. I hope to make people laugh lots and maybe make them shed some tears, too. I wish to transmit a part of myself in the play and leave an emotional message with the intent of making the public think while enjoying a beautiful evening together. For me it is very important that performances become a way to get in touch with people.

Milano Genius 2019: Organizers, Patronizing cities and Designers meet each other at Palazzo Marino.

By Kevin Carrara

The Milano Design Week represents for Milano Genius 2019 an opportunity to strengthen institutional and cultural ties between the two twinned cities of Milan and Osaka. The project, produced by the Italian Cultural Institute in Osaka and coordinated by Asian Studies Group, allowed young and talented designers to exhibit their works, selected under different themes, located to three important partners:

Take a Seat in Superstudio Group.

Design and Planet in Asian Studies Group.

Cool Japan in Corte dei Miracoli.

The joint efforts of the organizers, the patronizing cities and the partners resulted in an important event on April 8. Last Monday, the figures who have invested more in Milano Genius 2019 met with the designers involved in the project at Palazzo Marino in Milan:

Paolo Cacciato, President of Asian Studies Group.

Yuji Amamiya, General Consul of Japan in Milan.

Silvia La Ferla, Chief of the International Relations and Cooperation Development office of the city of Milan.

Gisella Borioli, CEO of Superstudio Group.

Federico Filippo Fagotto, Director of Corte dei Miracoli.

The Meeting

Paolo Cacciato, as co-organizer of the event, summarized the project Milano Genius 2019 and the value that it represents for the two twinned Municipal Cities of Osaka and Milan. He emphasized the importance that ASG has always given to creativity and young talent: he has always tried his best in order to create opportunities to express such qualities. He also pointed out already planned events in Osaka of culinary, musical and artistic nature.

During the ceremony, the guests had the pleasure to hear a speech from Yuji Amamiya, the General Consul of Japan in Milan, in which he stated how much proud he is of the project:

It has been a great joy for me and this Consolate to learn that in occasion of the Milano Design Week there would have been hold an event like this one, capable of representing a starting point for youth Japanese artists and designers and for their international activities.

Silvia La Ferla pointed out the relevance of Milano Genius in order to enforce and strengthen the relation between Milan and Osaka and how cultural and creative exchange are the foundations for a greater mutual understanding necessary to create, together, projects and tools that benefit both realities. Then, the Municipality of Milan donated to each designer some images of Milan of past years, believing that the medieval beauty of the city will help them remember the wonderful collaboration that took place here.

Federico Filippo Fagotto talked about the importance that he gives to art and creativity. Furthermore, he spoke about his pride and joy regarding the wonderful collaboration that Corte dei Miracoli found working alongside Asian Studies Group, a long-standing collaboration that began with a casual meeting between him and Paolo Cacciato. A fortuitous event full of opportunities, personal growth and mutual benefit.

Last but not least, Gisella Borioli pointed out how she started her personal relation with Japan during Osaka Expo 1970 and how her personal passion could finally be applied in a creatively and valid project. Working with Japanese designers has allowed her to absorb part of their culture while encouraging new collaborations in the future.

At the end of the institutional speeches, certificates of participation in the Milano Genius 2019 project were delivered to every designer by the individual partners. The involvement of cultural partners, city institutions and young creative people is a winning formula that benefits and brings honor to all those involved.